Here at The Calkins Law Firm, Ltd., we hear about and see considerably more wrongdoing than I like.
Perhaps it is because our practice areas include commercial litigation, so we are regularly approached when clients require our help. Or perhaps it is because people increasingly don't know the difference between right and wrong - or don't care to put in the effort to find out.
I am continuously both surprised and disappointed by all of the wrongdoers and wrongdoing that is brought to our attention. The most common offenses include breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, usurpation of corporate or other opportunity, and theft of trade secrets or other assets.
Do we see so much wrongdoing because so many people don't know the difference between right and wrong? Or do the violators act intentionally, thinking that they will get away with their misconduct?
Honestly I have no satisfactory explanation for why we hear about and see so many wrongdoers and so much wrongdoing. What's worse, this troublesome behavior seems to me to be on the increase lately.
So, what is one to do when confronted with wrongdoers and wrongdoing?
Pretty clear to me that it is best first to get mad.
Then, get organized.
Finally - get even, and move forward swiftly to defend and protect your rights.
Let me explain what I mean:
1. Get Mad
A victim of wrongdoing is entitled to get mad, and to be angry. Those are very normal human emotions in this context. When properly managed, they can be used as motivation to complete steps 2 and 3. It is entirely normal to get mad and be angry when one discovers that he or she has been the victim of a wrongdoer and wrongdoing, so use it in a positive way.
That the offender is often someone in whom the victim placed trust does not make the emotional aspects of any of this any easier. Disappointment is another emotion that is common in this context. Allow yourself to feel these emotions, but resign yourself to turn them into fuel to launch into the next step.
2. Get Organized
After discovering that you are a victim of a wrongdoer and wrongdoing, move swiftly to get your ducks in a row. Pull together as much information as you possibly can, as swiftly as possible, in order to marshall whatever objective support exists for the claim of wrongdoing.
I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to do exhaustive research regarding the wrongdoer and the wrongdoing, and what happened, and when, and how. Thorough preparation is absolutely essential as everything will eventually come out in the wash.
3. Get Even
Retain seasoned litigation counsel to carefully and cost effectively document and then pursue your claim. There is absolutely no reason to stand quietly by and to accept your losses. Instead, work closely with counsel to exhaustively prepare for and pursue your claim for damages caused by the wrongdoer and wrongdoing.
I have personally been the victim of wrongdoers and wrongdoing. I have also heard about and seen countless other instances of wrongdoers and wrongdoing. I recommend that the victims of wrongdoers and wrongdoing seek redress by taking the steps outlined above.
If you or your business have been the victim of a wrongdoer and wrongdoing, contact us now.